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Old 08-23-2002, 11:25 PM   #33
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
Michael Neil wrote:
Which brings me full circle to the orginial subject of this thread, "The Misuse of Aikido Philosophy," that many aikidoists use the general philosophy of Aikido, twist it for their own purposes, then try to tell the rest of us that we are being UNAIKI if see politics differently. Or even if we practice the physical aspects of Aikido differently training more for the practical applications.
I feel for you on this one. Coming from Israel (as was discussed in a different thread), I know about how people in the dojo need to painfully aware that the correspondance between THEIR AiKiDo philosophy and THEIR politics will not translate will into a convincing political argument for someone who shares their AiKiDo philosophy but not their politics. Sometimes, we managed to deal with this with AiKi. Other times, people got mad and called each other names. More often than not, we simply did not address the issue.

On the other hand, Perhaps you can see the flip side of the issue. In my own mind, there is a congruence between what I'm learning in AiKiDo and what I believe about the world around me. It can be hard for me to understand that someone else who seemingly shares the underlying philosophy could interpret it so differently when applying it outside the dojo. I have to ask myself: perhaps they don't share the philosophy? Perhaps they haven't thought to apply it? Of course, these may not be the best questions to be asking myself. I'd probably get more mileage out of restating them more gently: What philosophy does underlie their training? How do they see it influencing their life and politics? Still, expecting that of myself is probably like expecting myself not to use force in my techniques. A nice goal, but not one I'm likely to achieve today (actually, today I already didn't ... )

On the other hand, you could choose to see these self-righteous zealots in the same way you choose to deal with people who are 'attacking wrong' and 'messing up your technique': the failures of their aikido are their own, and it doesn't have to be your role to teach them so much as to use them as opportunities to learn. Again, that's an ideal that I rarely achieve.
Michael Neil wrote:
Giving the government a wide variety of topics to regulate is exactly what repressive socialism is. ... But in reality human beings run these agencies and human beings have agendas and twist and shape these principles is all sorts of ways eventually using the regulations as weapons against politcal rivals or just simply to wield power over the people.
I still think you have your definition of socialism wrong, but I recognize the underlying point and tend to agree with it. On the other hand, the history of 'unfettered capitalism' is pretty bleak, too, from the sweat shops of the late 18th century to the robber barons of the railroads, unfettered capitalism has inevitably led to slavery in one form or another, as well as to growing disparity between rich and poor up to and including real starvation. It seems to me that the best chance of success is to define pretty clearly what the responsibilities of government really ought to be (health, education, basic welfare, stewardship of the public resources would seem like candidates) and then find a way to set up systems of checks and balances that will prevent the kind of repressive brutality that you are worried about. This is how democracy has worked for us until now (and it is how it is starting to fail now). It is how the bill of rights has protected us. There is no reason it could not work with a few other things, too.

Last edited by opherdonchin : 08-26-2002 at 01:48 PM.

Yours in Aiki
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